7 Seconds/Suicidal Tendencies/Youth Brigade/Wasted Youth
Galaxy Roller Rink, Fullerton, CA
Friday, December 17, 1982
Time: 8:00 PM
I remember picking up the flyer for this show at Vinyl Fetish on Melrose, down in Hollywood. I was hanging out with a friend of mine Chris. Chris was out here for a year from New York, and I was shopping for a pyramid-studded belt (a must for every punk’s arsenal). Anyway, I picked up the flyer, and Chris takes it, and say’s “let’s go!” Now, if you ever saw Chris, you would think he was the last guy who would ever belong at a punk show. As I said he was from New York, he had curly blonde haircut into a preppy-type mullet, drove a BMW, and wore Member’s Only jackets. I told him that it might not be a great idea, but the New York attitude in him insisted. So, for the next week, or so that’s all he talked about – going to the show. I invited two of the girls I hung out with at school Stephanie C. and Steph B. This show was turning into a full-blown road trip. I had never ventured this far out for a show, from where I lived it was just over 43 miles, and a good hour drive. Chris offered to drive, and we all accepted.
The night of the show my Mom dropped me off at Chris’ place in Tarzana, after the gig I would just crash out there. Chris had pulled out a bag of old work clothes, jackets, shirts and boots. When I walked in he was working overtime drawing anarchy symbols all over the boots, and had emptied out about half a tub of Dipity Doo into his hair. He didn’t look so much like a punk as he did a homeless guy. So, he asked me how he looked, I told him he’d be fine, the way he looked I don’t think anybody would talk to him.
The two Steph’s were over at Steph B.’s place. We picked them up at 6:30pm-6:45pm, and hopped onto the 101 freeway. We took the 101 for about 30 minutes, and then switched over to the Interstate 5 for the last half hour. When we finally arrived we parked a few blocks away, Chris was not sure what would become of his new BMW.
Once we got to the rink, there were huge lines to get into the place. The Fullerton police were frisking everybody, and waving handheld metal detectors over everyone in line. They didn’t have female officers for the girls, same group of male cops for everybody. And standing to the side were a couple of officers holding back German Sheppard’s on leashes. Finally after fifteen or twenty minutes I got waved forward, immediately the metal detector goes off as the officer waved the metal detector over my leather jacket. The cop gets this look on his face, and my eyes bug, because I have no idea what set it off. One cop comes over to check my pockets as the other holds my shoulder. The officer pulls out a pocketknife with a razor blade tucked into the blade. I almost crapped. I became the very stereotype these cops were fighting. The other officer was now holding both of my shoulders. The first thing that came to mind was that I was going to be arrested and have to call my Mom, and have her drive an hour to get me, and this was going to be all bad. So, I decided to bargain with them. I said “Would you like to keep the knife, I don’t need it.” The officers look at each other for a minute, and told me to get moving. Whew, I was safe!
OK, now let me explain, I had begged my Mom for a pocketknife. For two reasons, one to use in my art class for paste-up’s and things like that, the second . . . well, I thought they looked cool. Finally, my Mom let me get one, and it sat in my pocket for months untouched. The razor, I also forgot I had. My art teacher, I think he was fruity, gave me a razor blade to draw for part of my final. I was supposed stick it in something like an apple, or something and draw it. Well, I didn’t want it to cut through the jacket so I tucked it into the knife. As I started to walk away, I look up and twenty or thirty people are staring at me like I’m super-hardcore. Bringing in weapons, and just walking away. I wasn’t cool; I was scared, and dumb.
Finally, we walk in, the two Steph’s run off to socialize, and me, and Chris find a spot to hangout as 7 Seconds tune-up. Then they just launched into their set. They were pretty good. I don’t remember the exact songs they did. I know they did some songs from the Not So Quiet On The Western Front compilation on Alternative Tentacles, and their 7″ EP Skins, Brains and Guts, also on Alternative Tentacles. 7 Seconds was formed in Reno, NV, and relocated to Sacramento, CA. Vocalist Kevin Seconds did a good job.
The second group on was Suicidal Tendencies. From the minute we walked in there was a mass of Suicidal fans standing the back, somewhere fifty to a hundred of these guys all in white dress shirts with different versions of the Suicidal Tendencies logo drawn on the back, skull and cross bones, some crosses. Anyway, they all stayed in the back of the rink until the first chord was played, then like the running of the bulls they took over the stage, they took over the pit, and eventually they took over the room. Suicidal played the bulk of their songs from their self-titled album that they would release the next year. “Suicide’s an Alternative / You’ll Be Sorry,” “Two Sided Politics,” “I Shot the Devil,” “Subliminal,” “Won’t Fall in Love Today,” “Institutionalized,” “Memories of Tomorrow,” “Possessed,” “I Saw Your Mommy…,” “Fascist Pig,” “I Want More” and “Suicidal Failure.” The only real difference I remember is the I Shot the Devil song, I’m pretty sure they sang it as I Shot Reagan. I was never a Suicidal Tendencies fan, but you couldn’t deny the powerful performance. As their music took over the stage, their fans took over the hall. I was surprised they weren’t headlining, with their fans alone they could’ve sold the place out. Mike Muir was an intense front man.
The third band on was Youth Brigade. Youth Brigade was made up of three brothers Shawn, Mark, and Adam Stern. These guys are also the founders of BYO Records. They played a great set. It was L.A. punk, but with a hint of Oi in it. They played Violence, Boys In The Brigade and Look In The Mirror from the compilation they produced: Someone Got Their Head Kicked In. They were really good; their set went by too fast.
Finally, the fourth band of the night: Wasted Youth. These guys got great crowd reaction. The whole place was jumping and singing along to all the tracks off of Reagan’s In: “Reagan’s In,” “Problem Child,” “Teenage Nark,” “Uni-High Beefrag,” “Born Deprived,” “Fuck Authority,” “You’re a Jerk,” “We Were On Heroin,” “Punk for a Day,” and “Flush the Bouncers.” Lyrically, Wasted Youth were very amateurish. But once you get past that they were a real fun band to watch live. The band was in it’s classic line-up of: Danny Spira on vocals, Chet Lehrer on guitar, Jeff Long on bass, and Allen Stiritz on drums.
You may remember Wasted Youth’s cool album cover, done by Pushead Lamort. During this time (three months before I turned seventeen), I would buy almost anything drawn by one of my favorite artists: Marc Rude, Shawn Kerri or Pushead. As you may remember Pushead went on to do some great art for The Misfits and some other stuff for Metallica.
Anyway, the ride home was a bit quicker. We dropped off the two Steph’s, who we would talk to all night between bands, basically giving our critiques. Then Chris and I headed to his place and crashed out at 1:00am. Other than the police incident it was a cool night.
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